After receiving a “clean bill of health” from the external auditor KPMG, the Board of Education approved the 2019-20 Annual Financial Statements as presented at its meeting on Tuesday evening at the District Education Support Centre (DESC).
“We are ready to issue a clean financial audit opinion to SD83,” said Murray Smith, KPMG auditor. He noted that they found the statements to be true and accurate. “Gary’s (Greenhough) level of expertise, supported by his financial team made this a smooth experience,” he added.
Smith did note that the district ended the year with a “skinny” surplus and said as auditors they would like to see a bit more of a buffer.
Before the auditors report, SD83 Director of Finance Gary Greenhough discussed the financial statements noting it was a challenging year for many reasons including a first-ever virtual audit.
He explained that each year school districts are required to prepare audited financial statements, which are reviewed by external auditors, who issue an independent audit report. The Ministry also reviews the statements.
He commented school district financials are complex due to the consolidation of three separate funds in the statements (operating, special purpose and capital) and various accounting methods/legislation/constraints in use for each fund.
Greenhough also presented an in-depth Financial Statement Discussion and Analysis report to trustees, which explains, among other things, the composition of the financial statements, the three separate funds and what the statement of financial position entails.
Of interest, in SD83’s Statement of Operations (for all funds) the total revenue (as of June 30, 2020) was $85,756,939 million. The total expenses were $85,681,380. In the Operating Fund, SD83’s accumulated operating surplus at June 30, 2020 was $1,349,398. This was internally restricted by the Board and will be used for school budget balances ($469,182), career programs ($37,446), unspent Indigenous Education targeted funds ($218,249), AED program ($30,537), various projects including physical literacy pilot ($51,000), contingency reserve ($199,984), appropriated for 20/21 budget ($343,000).
In the report, information is also broken out and explained by function. He noted 80 per cent of the district’s 2019-20 expenditure was on instruction (provincial average in 2018-19 was 81.9), 3.8 per cent on district administration (4.1 provincial average), 12.2 per cent on operations and maintenance (12 per cent provincial average), and four per cent on transportation (two per cent provincial average, difference mainly due to SD83’s wider geographic area).
Also, 90.4 per cent, or $64.3 million of SD83’s operating expenditure is spent on salaries and benefits.
Read the complete Financial Statement Discussion and Analysis Report